On Wednesday, an attorney for the Monegasque prince acknowledged that Prince Albert is the father of a two-year-old boy
Photo: Alphapress.com

Flight attendant Nicole Coste went public with paternity allegations in May, giving the world a first glimpse of baby Alexandre, who will be two next month

6 JULY 2005

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Days before his coronation as Monaco's monarch, Prince Albert has admitted that he fathered a son, who is now nearly two years old, with a flight attendant from Togo.

A statement released via the prince's lawyer said that the Prince wanted to live up to his responsibilities, and hoped the young boy would be able to live his life in privacy. The child will not be in line for the Monegasque throne, nor will he bear the Grimaldi name, added the statement. He will, however, "have the same inheritance rights as other children of the prince, should he have other children". Albert is said to be worth about 1.4 billion.

It was expected that Prince Albert would make a statement this week about the rumours he had a son, after nearly two months of speculation surrounding the subject.

In May, not long after the April 6 death of Monaco's late ruler Prince Rainier, air stewardess Nicole Coste claimed she had been seeing Prince Albert for five years. Furthermore, she alleged, the Monegasque playboy was the father of her son Alexandre, who turns two in August, and that a DNA test had proved the 47-year-old royal's paternity.

In the interview with French magazine Paris Match, Ms Coste said she decided to speak out so that "Alexandre can grow up like a normal child with a father".